Getting onto the road safely during high winds

With storm Eunice still in the back of our minds, we at MAES thought to collect some tips for safely getting onto the road during a storm or high winds. A first tip is perhaps the most important and logical. If you don’t have to be outside urgently, stay inside during heavy storms. But of course the latter is not always possible, so we have collected some other tips for you.

If you have to go onto the road during high winds or stormy weather, keep the following rules in mind to get to your destination safely.

Lower your speed:

A standard rule when it’s unsafe on the track, but that’s because the rule works. By driving slower you can react better and faster to unexpected situations. You also have better control of the car and you can easily avoid unsafe situations.

Keep your distance:

This is also a well-known rule, in stormy weather quite a few things can suddenly fly onto the road, so that you or the car in front of you suddenly have to manoeuvre. A safe distance from the vehicle in front ensures that you can come to a stop safely.

Prepare for unexpected moves:

You must of course always pay attention behind the wheel. But in stormy weather you have to be extra focused. Unexpected things can just fly onto the track. Smaller things that can cause you to startle, but of course also bigger things that can cause damage.

Hold your steering wheel with both hands, but don’t drive clinch to hard:

For all safety, hold your steeringwheel with 2 hands. The wind can come in gusts and can suddenly give a jolt so that you have to countersteer for a moment. But also make sure that you do not grip the steering wheel too tightly. This can actually cause you to react too hard and let your car skid.

Avoid driving with a caravan or trailer:

This one kind of depends on the general tip. Try to avoid driving with trailer. Especially with a high, empty trailer or a caravan, the wind can have a lot of traction on those and cause you to lose control of the steering wheel.

Avoid trees when parking. Also watch out for pedestrians and cyclists when getting out:

Of course you cannot select a route without trees via the route planning on your mobile phone or satnav, but be careful on the road and keep an eye on the trees, especially when parking. When you have arrived at your destination, do not park under a tree. Also be careful when you get out and hold the door well, especially when there are cyclists or pedestrians nearby. An unexpected gust of wind can throw the door open right away.

Beware of aquaplaning:

In stormy weather and heavy rain, you should always watch out for aquaplaning. You can find some tips for dealing with this here.

Drive with your lights for better visibility:

Especially in heavy rain, it is advisable to also turn on your lights, so that oncoming traffic can see you better and you also have a better view.

Be careful on bridges and clearings:

When you are driving with shelter such as houses or trees, pay attention when this shelter is interrupted. The wind can immediately surprise you there and give you a huge jolt at your steering wheel. Bridges are also extremely dangerous during strong winds. These are usually unsheltered and in an open place such as over a river. There the wind can surprise you the most.

Avoid overtaking as much as possible:

Drive slowly and let it overtake for a while. Overtaking also provides temporary shelter, especially when you pass a truck, but once you’ve passed it you can also immediately get a gust of wind that causes your car to suddenly swerve. So drive calmly, slowly and only overtake when you think it is safe to do so.

Check your tire pressure:

If you have to go on the road for a long time, quickly check your tire pressure.: